Construction is one of the most dangerous fields in which to work. Although the U.S. has relatively strict safety standards for construction zones, accidents still happen regularly. This is due somewhat to the hazardous nature of the work, but also because construction companies and subcontractors do not always follow regulations.
We do not yet know the cause of a fatal construction accident from late in January. Though this tragedy did not take place in Pennsylvania, it is a typical example of the sort of incident that can cause serious injury and death at a construction site.
The victim was a 45-year-old man who was working on a high-rise residential building, six floors above the ground. He was leaning into a shaft when the elevator of a crane descended and pinned him, causing him severe injuries 60 feet in the air.
He was freed from the crane, lowered to the ground, and rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries. A spokesman for the local fire department said that despite firefightersâ training for dealing with this sort of construction accident, there was little they could do to save the victimâs life.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating. This is standard procedure, and does not necessarily mean the victimâs employer caused his death due to negligence. But the investigation could reveal a lack of training or protective equipment, or other evidence that the accident might have been prevented.
Besides the shock and grief of losing a loved one in a construction accident, the family likely will face funeral expenses, medical bills and other costs. They will also have to figure out how to go on without the victimâs income. Workersâ compensation survivorsâ benefits may be able to help.